This is the "non-heist" festival, and it is organized around an idea that the FNF tried out last year, pairing a so-called "A" film with a "B" film from the same year. This notion has a certain amount of merit, but tying it to a year-by-year presentation format is an additional wrinkle that seems to have taxed the programmers a bit.
As a result, the schedule is wobbly in terms of quality, bringing us back into NOIR CITY 6-7-8 territory. A lot of Paramount product is featured in the "A" slot, with Columbia and Fox product showing up on both sides of the A-B "blood-brain barrier." Missing from this festival--with one exception--is anything coming from WB-RKO-Monogram, which saps the quality level in both categories. (Note: THE HUNTED is out on DVD in the Warner on-demand series, and a new print of this is another FNF pet project, reflecting Eddie's long-standing fascination with Belita.)
And, as the subject line indicates, there are no social justice noirs to be found in the lineup.
F 3/24 THIS GUN FOR HIRE*/quiet please, murder* (1942)
Sa 3/25 MINISTRY OF FEAR*/ADDRESS UNKNOWN* (1944)
Su 3/26 LADY ON A TRAIN*/escape in the fog (1945)
M 3/27 THE DARK CORNER/BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS* (1946)
Tu 3/28 CALCUTTA*/backlash* (1947)
W 3/29 THE ACCUSED/THE HUNTED (1949/1948)
Th 3/30 CHICAGO DEADLINE/i was a shoplifter* (1949/1950)
F 3/31 WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS/the killer that stalked new york (1950)
Sa 4/1 THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF/iron man* (1950/1951)
Su 4/2 THE BIG HEAT*/WICKED WOMAN (1953)
--Asterisks (*) indicate films not yet screened at NC/SF
--films in BOLD CAPS have either IMDB scores over 7.4 or "aggregate ratings" of 85/100 or higher
--films in lower case have either IMBD scores below 6.5 or "aggregate ratings" of 75/100 or lower
--films in non-bold CAPS are in the in-between quality-wise
Average IMDB ranks: 7.2 for A's, 6.5 for B's
Average "aggregate ratings": 83 for A's, 76 for B's
There is really only one really good picture in the "long unseen" group of B's: ADDRESS UNKNOWN. The mid-week Paramount "A's" are lackluster (and I say this as a fan of Alan Ladd!).
And, of course, it borders on criminal contempt to leave out social justice noirs at this point in time, but there you go.
Here's a version of this schedule, retaining much of the A group but replacing a good bit of the B group with stronger pictures, and adding in social justice noirs in just a few key places so as not to make the "don't preach at me!" crowd less likely to stomp off into the night...
F 3/24 THIS GUN FOR HIRE*/KID GLOVE KILLER (one more tribute to Marsha Hunt) 1942
Sa 3/25 matinee--THE FALLEN SPARROW*/THE SEVENTH VICTIM* (moody matinee) 1943
evening--MINISTRY OF FEAR*/ADDRESS UNKNOWN* 1944
Su 3/26 LADY ON A TRAIN*/CORNERED* 1945
M 3/27 THE DARK CORNER/BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS* 1946
Tu 3/28 BODY AND SOUL/CROSSFIRE* 1947
W 3/29 FORCE OF EVIL/THE HUNTED 1948
Th 3/30 ACT OF VIOLENCE/STRANGE BARGAIN* 1949 (sources differ regarding AofV's release date)
F 3/31 WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS/THE LAWLESS* 1950
Sa 4/1 matinee--THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF/THE WELL* 1950/1951
evening SUDDEN FEAR/WITHOUT WARNING!* 1952 new 2K restoration of SF should bring 'em out...
Su THE BIG HEAT*/WICKED WOMAN 1953
Average IMDB score goes up to 7.4 for A's and 7.1 for B's
Avearage "aggregate rating" goes up to 87 for A's and 83 for B's
Four hard-core social justice noirs out of 24 in this lineup. But those four do make a difference--and several other judicious substitutions (mostly on the "B" side) provide a lot more bang for the buck here, with fewer films that just kind of lie there.